Kicking Spit - PsychRockBullshit (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Kicking Spit

PsychRockBullshit (2011)


Kicking Spit (great name, although I've tried and I can't seem to kick spit very far) are a trio from New Brunswick, N.J., who, like a number of other bands releasing music these days, are looking over their shoulders for inspiration. In the case of Kicking Spit this stimulation comes in the form of bands like Dinosaur Jr., Hüsker Dü and the Meat Puppets, to name but a few. Okay, they cite quite a diverse selection of bands as having had an influence on them, and occasionally some of these can be heard, but it would be foolish to say that the above bands were not the main encouragement for the sound and spirit that Kicking Spit produce.

Along with bands like Dan Webb and the Spiders and the Young Leaves who are also mining a similar sound, with reverential nods back to the indie rock bands of yore, it certainly gives the impression that just as much as music, fashion, etc. has a cyclical life, then we are now at the stage where we can pinpoint the current musical fad. I use the word "fad" loosely as I do not doubt the sincerity behind all of those bands who have found that they feel the need to rock out in an '80s/'90s way.

"Nothin Left" opens with pounding drums and bass followed by a searing guitar solo that seems more metal-ly than indie or punk, but this soon moves into something more akin to a cross between Hüsker Dü's Everything Falls Apart and Metal Circus EP. As you listen to the tracks you wouldn't be surprised if the three band members had surnames such as Mould, Kirkwood and Mascis–such is their ability to bring back memories of those bands at their peak. This is an extremely well-played sonic assault, albeit one frequently imbued with melody, that would probably be able to peel your eyelids back in a live setting. Each song has enough variety to make sure this EP isn't repetitive, with pace and structure changes throughout–this is definitely a keeper.

I'd really be interested in seeing if they can take this and produce an album that is as worthy of note as this EP is–apparently they are recording such a record shortly, so I'll be in line for one when it's released.

Is this the return of an indie/college rock genre? Can Kicking Spit play a big part in such a scene? Well, if there is a widespread revisiting of such music, then on this evidence they seem to be well-placed to be in the vanguard of those bands.